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Annie Hayes

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Ministers promise to cut red tape

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A programme of reforms aimed at slashing the red tape blighting UK businesses was unveiled yesterday by the government.

Business and enterprise secretary John Hutton said the new measures are aimed at “tackling regulation and creating a dynamic business environment”.

Ministers, he revealed, will put greater pressure on regulators to review and reduce the number of unnecessary burdens placed on businesses through legislation, while plans to simplify health and safety costs for low-risk firms and dispute resolutions laws will also be introduced.

In addition a “more coherent and business-friendly approach to handling and communicating regulatory change” is to take place based around the twice yearly common commencement dates for introducing new rules, currently 6 April and 1 October.

“We are committed to reducing the burden on business of regulation,” Hutton said. “But we also want to make it easier for businesses to meet their legal obligations with clearer guidance and better communication.

“We have put regulatory reform at the heart of our efforts to create the right conditions for business success by putting the Better Regulation Executive in the new Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (DBERR).”

John Gridland, deputy director general of the Confederation of British Industry, said the announcement was a “positive start” to the work of the new DBERR.

“Critically, the proposals include practical measures that should deliver time and cost savings on the ground and reward the vast majority of well-managed, compliant businesses,” he added. “There is a healthy mix of carrot and stick to ensure regulators keep to their side of the deregulatory bargain.

“It is only right that government is bound by law to its own guidance, which states that business gets 12 weeks to implement regulations, once parliament has approved them. It simply isn’t good enough when, as with last year’s introduction of new age and pension laws, employers are given just three weeks to implement complex regulation.”

 

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Annie Hayes

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